Meet the Iconics—The Red Raven

Friday, February 26, 2016


Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Ho there, stranger! If you're lookin' for shelter on a cold night like tonight, you could do a lot better than that cursed Ledinthorp estate you were prowling 'round. Come 'long. My daughters married and moved out ages ago—means we got a spare bed for a traveler who doesn't know how to stay out of trouble when there're Gray Gardeners keeping the peace.

You even know whose ruined home you were in? That once belonged to the old Ledinthorp clan. They played at being dukes and earls until the Revolution swept through in '67 and lopped off their heads! I hear the nursemaid smuggled out the duke's heirs before the mobs set fire to the place and made dresses out of the swanky curtains. Nobody's had a mind to fix it up, and the only reason anyone goes there now is to look for the inheritance the duke supposedly hid in the walls. Course, if there's any justice in the world, the Red Raven's found it long since and given it out to help feed starving mouths in these tryin' times.

What's that, stranger? Never heard of the Red Raven? That's a right shame, and something of a surprise for folk 'round here. He's famous—a hometown hero! Now I admit a lot of cities get to make that claim, but 'round here it's true. He was born a common man to a couple down on Razor Street. Some even say that he's the lost son of Darl Jubbanich, which would make the Red Raven the child of Liberty itself, raised by the common folk! But those were hard times; we were struggling with starvation inflicted by Galt's hungry neighbors, and the dark legacy of those traitorous aristocrats still strangled our lands. Even so, he fed on the freedom of a liberated nation—that part's exaggeration, mind, but it's how the story goes—and grew up strong, proud, and gallant. And handsome! You'd believe me if you saw him. My, if I was forty years younger…

Oh, don't give that look! At my age you're allowed to speak your mind. Now, where was I?

Just about everyone 'round here's seen the Red Raven from down the street or across the square as he pursues brigands and traitors. I'm lucky to have seen him eight times, myself. Why, he flies 'cross the shingles as if his cape were feathers, soaring on wings of grandeur stained by the blood of them rotten nobles. The glow of old Galt's torches'n'pitchforks can't compare to that righteous hellfire smoldering in his eyes, hotter'n Asmodeus's summer sweat! Course, what would you expect from someone whose passion for justice ignited from the sparks that flew from the first final blade? You know how our final blades all have ladies' names? That's 'cause they're the only wives the Red Raven takes, and hardly a night goes by that he doesn't bring home some bloody present for the missus. Har har!

Aww, loosen up, stranger. Jokin' aside, my youngest, Anjerille, she was at a festival when the Red Raven dropped into the crowd and picked out a villain—said he could sniff out nobles by night just by following the stench of their perfumes. Oh, you laugh. I did too, but only a month later we learned that he has eyes so sharp that he can tell the difference between a cobbler and a count from three streets away with only a crescent moon for light. Now, my eldest, Redarra, is known to tell some tall tales, but given what else I've seen, I half take it as truth when she says he can taste a man's bloodline back ten generations from just a single drop.

Who is he really? Anyone you ask will give a different answer. Some think he's a common bandit turned good. Others say he's a reformed noble seeking redemption. Me? I say he's everyone in Edme, for we're all willing to watch for aristocrats who think that after half a century it's finally safe to return to Galt. Aristocrats who would sneak around a burned-down estate and walk away with a bag of jewels, like the one I fancy you're carryin' now. Blue-bloods with a face like yours—the same as old Duke Ledinthorp's, whose head I watched tumble from Razor Jenni's blade so long ago. The son of a dead dynasty like yours, scavengin' what rightly belongs to the people of Galt. Who's the Red Raven? He's everyone we've passed tonight. He's every set of eyes that's seen us walking together. He's the footsteps you hear patterin' across the rooftops, fast as the heart of man who's got only an hour left to live.

Best get runnin' Your Excellency. The Red Raven knows you're here.

Check back next week when we take a closer look at one of Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Intrigue's deepest secrets!

John Compton
Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Publisher Preview Update! Pathfinder Battles fans, the long break of miniatures updates is nearly over! Erik will return with news about the upcoming set next week!

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Tags: Meet the Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game The Red Raven Vigilante Wayne Reynolds
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Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

3 people marked this as a favorite.

The Red Raven lives yet again! Awesome idea making him the Vigilante! And amazing job with the backstory.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Galt!!!!!!!

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That can't be the Red Raven. :P


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Very cool! Nice to have one of the first "masked heroes" of Golarion be the iconic. :D

Sadly the link to the art leads nowhere. :(


Interesting format for the iconic backstory. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but this fella has appeared in Golarion before, yeah? Is this a first for a character to be labelled as an iconic after their initial introduction?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Depends. Can't but help but wonder if that's the same Red Raven we last saw in

Spoiler:
Requiem for the Red Raven (is it a spoiler if his name's in the title?)

or someone else who's taken up the identity.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Seltyiel, the iconic Magus used to be an eldritch knight.

Dark Archive

Now this is the kind of content I want to see! More Galt please!


Yum.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Interesting.

Community & Digital Content Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Feros wrote:
Sadly the link to the art leads nowhere. :(

D'oh! Our image processing seems to have joined the party, you can take a gander here.

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's odd, I heard the Red Raven was a gnome...

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

Athel wrote:
Interesting format for the iconic backstory. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but this fella has appeared in Golarion before, yeah? Is this a first for a character to be labelled as an iconic after their initial introduction?

To my knowledge, this is the first time we've adopted an existing character from our setting as an iconic. It certainly introduced some interesting challenges while I was revisiting some of the canon to ensure our iconic character would be as engaging as possible.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Jayson MF Kip wrote:
That's odd, I heard the Red Raven was a gnome...

I've heard a similar theory, though it involved the Red Raven being a pair of gnomes in a fancy crime-fighting outfit. Said trustworthy source also assured me that Norgorber is just an ambitious trio of halflings wearing a heavy cloak. Sounds legit.

Community Manager

11 people marked this as a favorite.

Wait, I thought Red Raven was a bad ass TransAm?


8 people marked this as a favorite.

I AM THE RED RAVEN!


Liz, that link leads to a 404 error, just so ya know~

Looking forward to maybe making a Vigilante when Intrigue comes out next month. I eagerly await my subscription PDF.

Community Manager

Zerri wrote:
Liz, that link leads to a 404 error, just so ya know~

Does it? ;)

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Liz Courts wrote:
Wait, I thought Red Raven was a bad ass TransAm?

Hell yeah!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Treerazer wrote:
I AM THE RED RAVEN!

No, I AM THE RED RAVEN!


Liz Courts wrote:
Zerri wrote:
Liz, that link leads to a 404 error, just so ya know~
Does it? ;)

Not anymore~

Nice car. Now we just need the Red Raven to drive around in it.

What would we even call it? The Red Ravenmobile sounds kind of eh. Maybe The Wings of Freedom? (I would have suggested Wings of Liberty but I didn't want Blizzard's army of undead lawyers coming after me, all out of channel energy for the day).


3 people marked this as a favorite.

He's not the hero we deserve, but he's the hero we need right now.

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Liz Courts wrote:
Wait, I thought Red Raven was a bad ass TransAm?

It makes me feel so old to remember how long ago this joke first came into being on these very boards. I wonder how many active posters were even aware of Paizo back then...

Sczarni

Disguise check: 1d20 + 34 ⇒ (19) + 34 = 53

Wait, Carla looked like that??!

I think I'm getting sick...

But seriously, this is the best idea for an iconic ever. More iconics already integrated into Golarion lore please!


So are we going to get his social identity at some point too?


But not all nobles!... I am sorry.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

It might be because I just saw the movie last week, but he looks a bit like deadpool.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's a very evocative story. Awesome.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I heard the Red Raven was actually a dwarf so large and wide, no evil aristocrat could get by him...

Grand Lodge

This is one of those ideas that is simple and mind-blowing at the same time. Great job!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Typo on Ledinthorp estate/Ledithorp clan.

Nice pic Wayne. But then I almost always say that. I'm currently looking forward to seeing the evil iconics in the Hell' Vengeance Player's Guide.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm sorry, but i don't like the iconic art.
Also i have trouble with somebody who kills people just because they are noble labled as hero (of the people of Galt, i know).
The idea to adapt the Red Raven persona is good but this personification does'nt click with me.
Of course there probably is a noble under the mask...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Blackvial wrote:
Treerazer wrote:
I AM THE RED RAVEN!
No, I AM THE RED RAVEN!

You need to have some thug mewl as he being pummeled:"Wh-what are you?"

"I'M THE RED RAVEN...I want you tell all your friends about me!"


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Quite honestly, I preferred the earlier Red Raven artwork. This new version looks like a thug.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Difficult to view a dude who seems to be on the side of Golarion's Reign of Terror as any sort of heroic, for my own part. Mileage may vary and all that.


Well done!

While I'm sure it's too soon, what is the likelihood of a set of 1/4/7 PFS-legal Pregen Vigilantes? It would be fabulous to be able to hand those pregens out when the book goes live....

......
...........
Also, maybe PFS-legal Pregens for APG, Unchained and (maybe) the Magus? Please?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

To the people saying that they don't see him as heroic, I'm abit confused why that matters. I mean, we've had evil iconics before, so a neutral one doesn't sound that bad...


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Bellona wrote:
Quite honestly, I preferred the earlier Red Raven artwork. This new version looks like a thug.

He bears an uncanny resemblance to Crazy Steve.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It occurred to me that while Raven and Quinn may both be citizens of Galt, they would definitely not get along. And now I'm starting to wonder if they're some art of that sneaked into the book. We'll found out in one month.


Wow I never thought that I'd see an iconic that I dislike more than Yoon...


I suppose, for me anyway, it's that, outside of the intended for Hell's Vengeance iconics certainly, it feels fairly remarkable to have an iconic that goes about as the champion of a place as messed up as Galt, and from what it reads, bringing people to be killed by things as awful as the final blades. I mean there's neutral in the style of Alain the arrogant douchelord, and there's neutral in the style of that.

It stands out is all.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Bellona wrote:
Quite honestly, I preferred the earlier Red Raven artwork. This new version looks like a thug.

That's what he keeps reminding me of! Some sort of Joker-minion providing Harley Quinn with low-Int, high-Str backup!

But, yeah, the guy on the cover of Flight of the Red Raven looks much cooler. I think it's a combination of WAR's item-heavy artwork and the modern school of superhero design that puts Batman in Iron-Man armor. This guy looks too weighed-down with equipment to be moving at full speed.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

I found it particularly noteworthy that he's sentenced a man to death for the crime of 'resembling the former occupant of this ruined house and coming back to it', as if the concepts of chance resemblance and coincidence never occurred and its all right to kill people on suspicion.

In addition, his logic of 'the Duke's legacy rightfully belongs to the people of Galt' seems to be based on nothing more than 'because we were able to take it by force, it is ours', which is exactly the sort of behavior the revolutionaries were objecting to re: the old nobility to begin with.

If this vignette was intended as an example of he who fights monsters not taking sufficient care to avoid becoming a monster, it is a brilliant success.

If it was intended to portray a heroic figure, it is... not so much.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Amanda Plageman wrote:

Well done!

While I'm sure it's too soon, what is the likelihood of a set of 1/4/7 PFS-legal Pregen Vigilantes? It would be fabulous to be able to hand those pregens out when the book goes live....

......
...........
Also, maybe PFS-legal Pregens for APG, Unchained and (maybe) the Magus? Please?

There's a good chance that we'll see the three pregenerated iconic vigilante character sheets in the future.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Red Raven the Gritty Reboot! Also I notice this is all told from an unreliable narrator. Though gotta love Galt "All men should be equal, but you have tainted blood from ten generations back." As my Paladin said "It is telling that the guy from a country literally run by assassins thinks Galt is crazy."

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Chuckg wrote:

I found it particularly noteworthy that he's sentenced a man to death for the crime of 'resembling the former occupant of this ruined house and coming back to it', as if the concepts of chance resemblance and coincidence never occurred and its all right to kill people on suspicion.

In addition, his logic of 'the Duke's legacy rightfully belongs to the people of Galt' seems to be based on nothing more than 'because we were able to take it by force, it is ours', which is exactly the sort of behavior the revolutionaries were objecting to re: the old nobility to begin with.

If this vignette was intended as an example of he who fights monsters not taking sufficient care to avoid becoming a monster, it is a brilliant success.

If it was intended to portray a heroic figure, it is... not so much.

Galt is certainly a dangerous place that has stewed in the juices of liberty long-turned rancid and corrupt by anarchists and the power-hungry. I've long wondered what childhood would be like for a place so that's brutal under a peeling veneer of progress, civility, and the greater good. Looking deeply into the lore of the Red Raven and spinning him into an iconic character let me explore these ideas and see how one might inadvertently adopt the grisly, everyday practices—even when he thinks he's doing what is right.


Actually, while I agree he doesn't sound necessarily heroic (though we are not getting solid information on his personal motivations and the distinctions he makes, everything being formatted as hearsay), he does definitely sound like a vigilante, in the traditional sense of the word.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
David Neilson wrote:
Red Raven the Gritty Reboot! Also I notice this is all told from an unreliable narrator.

Good eye!

Quote:
Though gotta love Galt "All men should be equal, but you have tainted blood from ten generations back." As my Paladin said "It is telling that the guy from a country literally run by assassins thinks Galt is crazy."

So true!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm definitely getting a Red Robin vibe from that costume...

Red Robin


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ashram wrote:

I'm definitely getting a Red Robin vibe from that costume...

Yummm...

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